Monday, November 28, 2011

THE NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2011 PENGUIN AWARDS. Well, it's been a long, rough couple of years here at the Penguin Awards when it seemed like good music was few and far between. But could it be that music is back??? It's a little too early to tell but the amount of nominations this year is more like the level of years gone by; in fact, it's a little TOO much to choose from because this time around there is a baker's dozen of album nominees, a total of 44 songs with nominations and (get this) there are 28 nominees for Song of the Year alone! So strap yourself in, it's gonna be an epic ride!
  • BOOTS - The Killers
  • Calgary - Bon Iver
  • Caravan - Rush
  • Cold - Black Country Communion
  • County Line - Cass McCombs
  • Elizabeth - Ghost
  • Heavy In Your Arms - Florence + the Machine
  • Holocene - Bon Iver
  • Howl - Florence + the Machine
  • I'm Alive - Anthrax
  • I Never Learnt To Share - James Blake
  • In the End - Anthrax
  • Leave My Body - Florence + the Machine
  • Misty - Kate Bush
  • Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex - CSS
  • No Condition - Mary J. Blige
  • Only If For A Night - Florence + the Machine
  • Overlord - Black Label Society
  • Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) - Florence + the Machine
  • Ritual - Ghost
  • Set Fire To the Rain - Adele
  • Shallow Grave - Black Label Society
  • Someone Like You - Adele
  • Song of Yesterday - Black Country Communion
  • Stand By Him - Ghost
  • Turn It Around - Crowded House
  • The Wilhelm Scream - James Blake
  • The Words That Maketh Murder - PJ Harvey


  • 21 - Adele
  • WORSHIP MUSIC - Anthrax
  • BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION - Black Country Communion
  • ORDER OF THE BLACK - Black Label Society
  • JAMES BLAKE - James Blake
  • BON IVER - Bon Iver
  • 50 WORDS FOR SNOW - Kate Bush
  • INTRIGUER - Crowded House
  • CEREMONIALS - Florence + the Machine
  • LUNGS - Florence + the Machine
  • WIT'S END - Cass McCombs


  • AIN'T NOBODY - Mary J. Blige
  • BETTER BE HOME SOON - Busby Marou
  • FALL AT Y OUR FEET - Boy & Bear
  • LIMIT TO YOUR LOVE - James Blake
  • LOVESONG - Adele
  • NEED SOMEONE - Mary J. Blige
  • WORDS OF LOVE - Patti Smith
  • YOU'VE GOT THE LOVE - Florence + the Machine


  • FEEL INSIDE - Mary J. Blige & Nas
  • LAKE TAHOE - Kate Bush & Stefan Roberts
  • MR. WRONG - Mary J. Blige & Drake
  • SNOWED IN AT WHEELER STREET - Kate Bush & Elton John
  • SNOWFLAKE - Kate Bush & Albert McIntosh
  • WILD MAN - Kate Bush & Andy Fairweather Low

NOMINEES FOR BEST ALBUM COVER (see above for photos)

  • WORSHIP MUSIC - Anthrax
  • BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION - Black Country Communion
  • ORDER OF THE BLACK - Black Label Society
  • BON IVER - Bon Iver
  • 50 WORDS FOR SNOW - Kate Bush
  • INTRIGUER - Crowded House
  • LUNGS - Florence + the Machine

Friday, November 18, 2011

IN A RARE MOVE, I'D LIKE TO PLUG A PRODUCT HERE IN THE LAND OF CERPTS AND HONEY. For kung fu fans, there's been a site called "SHAOLIN CHAMBER 36" over there to the right on my link list. Recently the fellow running the site has branched into making kung fu movie T-shirts under the banner "36 STYLES". The line was introduced this past summer with 4 great T-shirts (pictured above); these shirts are very good with high quality transfers. I bought some when they first came out and can highly recommend them. Where else are you gonna get kung fu film T-shirts? And especially of such good quality. Now they have added one more shirt: the classic "MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE" in probably the handsomest design yet. CLICK HERE to go take a look at them and I strongly encourage you to pick up a couple. The nice thing also is that they accept paypal so it's no fuss and no muss. These shirts are made by an extremely nice guy who I think should be encouraged in his labour of love so please visit the site and take a look. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

FOR A YUMMY AUTUMN TREAT: LAMB'S WOOL! I am no real fan of apple butter. I never buy it or eat it . . . UNLESS it's homemade apple butter from this recipe at Lisa Pardo's Kitchen blog. Sadly, there has been no blog activity there for two years but this recipe for homemade apple butter is delicious and I've made it several times. However, if you make it (and I urge you to), take my advice and half the amount of sugar and cut waaaaaaaaay down on the clove to just a smidge. But why am I showing you a recipe for apple butter??? And what's all this got to do with lamb's wool????
Well, I'll tell ya. According to Ruth Edna Kelley's 1919 "BOOK OF HALLOWEEN": "A popular drink at the Hallowe'en gathering in the eighteenth century was milk in which crushed roasted apples had been mixed. It was called Lambs'-Wool (perhaps from the "La Mas Ubhal", "the day of the apple fruit")." Well my perverse curiosity led me to create my own version of this Autumnal artifact to see what it might taste like. As I had just whipped up some of Lisa Pardo's homemade apple butter a couple days ago, I threw some in some milk for my own approximation of Lambs'-Wool and Wheeeeeeeeee doggies it was good!!! The only way I can describe it is that it's kinda like an apple milkshake! And it's certainly one of the most autumnal treats I think I've ever tasted. You've gotta try this. But that means you have to make the homemade apple butter first. So get cracking! And once that's done, take about half a coffee mug of milk (about 3/4 cup) and stir in about 3 heaping teaspoons of homemade apple butter. That's it! My own version of that ancient Irish Hallowe'en treat: Lambs'-Wool!
THE FIRST WINTER SONG by Arthur Perceval Graves
From 'Songs of Summer and Winter' (From the early Irish).
Take my tidings! Stags contend; Snows descend— Summer's end! A chill wind raging; The sun low keeping, Swift to set O'er seas high sweeping. Dull red the fern; Shapes are shadows; Wild geese mourn O'er misty meadows. Keen cold limes each weaker wing. Icy times— Such I sing! Take my tidings!
THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS by William Cullen Bryant
The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year, Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sere. Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead; They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread; The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay, And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day. Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood? Alas! they all are in their graves, the gentle race of flowers Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours. The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again. The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago, And the brier-rose and the orchids died amid the summer glow; But on the hills the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood, And the yellow sun-flower by the brook in autumn beauty stood, Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men, And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and glen. And now, when comes the calm mild day, as still such days will come, To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home; When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still, And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill, The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore, And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more. And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died, The fair meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side. In the cold moist earth we laid her, when the forests cast the leaf, And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief: Yet not unmeet it was that one, like that young friend of ours, So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

HALLOWEEN LEFTOVERS AT THE BOTTOM OF OUR TRICK OR TREAT BAG. As a look back at our 2011 Halloween Countdown before it turns into a pumpkin, we present this month's headers. Gee, I'm nostalgic for October 2011 already. . .